If you have been following facebook over the last several months you will know that harvesting maple sap this year was an adventure that lasted from Mid-February all the way to May. The flow was slow and random due to the weather conditions, but we did finally achieve the volume we needed to produce 10 bbls of beer.
We start by tapping 60 sugar maples on our farm in Kiel, Wisconsin in mid-February this year, pounding in the splines, running several hundred feet of 5/16 plastic hose, and then collect the sap in 55 gallon plastic barrels. We monitor the lines and bbls weekly since our pesky deer population loves to run into the lines and break them free, while the squirrels like to chew the lines. To collect the sap for transport we drive BiloBus and collect the sap into 15 gallon carboys, and/or our newest addition a 100 gallon tank on a trailer! We transport the sap back to Brookfield, pump into our large fermenter to hold the at 38 F. At times friends and family think I’m crazy and wonder why I do the things I do, but it is a labor of love!
For the brewing of Mapils . we decided to naturally sour the Sap so that we could reach the desired mash in pH of 5.4 and a final beer pH of 4.3. We brewed this beer with a dual combination of yeasts to give a slight fruity, crisp, slight malty pilsner flavor. Wondering when it will be on tap? Well, you will just have to keep watching our Facebook page, but remember it is limited production and when it’s gone it can’t come back until the sap starts to flow next year.
OG 12.22 Plato (1.048 SG)
FG 1.5 Plato (1.005 SG)
Malt: Briess Pilsner (Did you know we are 100% Briess always?!)
Water: NONE! We use 100% maple sap that has similar composition as Pilsen water
Yeast: Fermentis S-23 S-189
Hops: Sterling and Cascade
Mash temperature 148F for 60 minutes
Lauter at 170F
Boil for 60 minutes with four hop additions:
- 15 IBU Sterling 60 minutes
- 2.5 IBU Sterling 30 minutes
- 1.0 IBU Sterling 10 minutes
- Sterling and Cascade at whirl pool
Crash the wort to 52F, inoculate with the yeast. Lager for 30 days at 40F or colder if your setup allows it. Be very conscious of oxygenation during transfers or other movements. Pilsners are very susceptible to oxidation both from air and light.
-Gordon, the Wort Hog!